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Blanket landlord licensing covers 30,000 homes

11 November 2014

Blanket LicensingMore than 30,000 buy to lets and shared house in multiple occupation (HMO) in a second London borough will be subject to blanket landlord licensing.

Waltham Forest Council is writing to thousands of landlords warning them to pay up a five-year licensing fee from April 1, 2015.

In a bid to lure landlords to sign up early, the cost of the licence will be reduced to £250 for those making an application in the lead up to the scheme starting.

Newham, Council in East London started the first scheme covering 35,000 buy to lets and HMOs in January 2013.

Waltham Forest is setting up an online portal for landlords to make applications. Property investors with a portfolio of properties will have to make a separate application for each rental home.
Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “A strong link has been identified between levels of antisocial behaviour and homes that are rented out privately. The private rented sector makes up one-third of homes within the borough, so it is an issue that we need to address.

“We know we have got a lot of decent, responsible landlords in the borough who are supportive of this scheme and understand the need to tackle antisocial behaviour. They understand that irresponsible landlords give the wider landlord community a bad name by not addressing issues with their tenants.

“There needs to be some way of holding to account landlords who simply take the rent and then turn their back on any problems their tenants inflict upon neighbours.”
The council is also setting up inspection teams to visit private rented homes and to police tenant behaviour.

If each landlord pays the £500 license fee, the council stands to raise £15 million.
The money will be spent on administrating the scheme and setting up inspection teams to check private rented homes meet health and safety rules.

Landlords will also have to sign up to reference tenants before agreeing a tenancy and to tackle any antisocial behaviour or criminal activity arising from letting their properties.

Newham and Waltham Forest are the only two councils with blanket private rented home licensing for all landlords.

However, several other councils have expressed an interest in imposing similar schemes.

What is the difference between a bedsit and an HMO?